Kidnapping in Karachi is big business, with criminal gangs, political groups, and militants all using abductions as a fundraising tool. Late last year, I interviewed Imran, who was kidnapped and held by the Taliban for three months. I’ve written up his story for the New Statesman.
Imran was on his way to work when it happened. Two motorcyclists pulled up on either side of his car. The man next to his window showed him a gun, a standard technique by thieves on Karachi’s hectic streets. Assuming he was being mugged, Imran held his hands up to show he was unarmed and handed over his phone and wallet. It was not enough. The gunmen forced Imran and his driver out onto the street. They held a gun to his head, blindfolded him, and bundled him into a nearby car.
“It happened very quickly,” he tells me over dinner at a popular seaside restaurant in the port city. “They tied up my hands and covered my eyes. That was when I knew I was being kidnapped.”
You can read the full piece over at my NS blog.
Other recent writings
I’ve contributed these columns to the Express Tribune over the past few weeks:
To be a journalist in Pakistan
The threat to journalists comes from terrorists, but also from the powerful security establishment.
Drones are not going to go away and they are not going to stop being controversial.
With parts of Pakistan slipping out of the state’s control, an effective police force would be a good place to start.